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URBAN STUDY OF DBAYE AND ACHRAFIEH MALLS
- Impact of Dbaye and Achrafieh on the surrounding.
Thesis: What are the issues of the malls in Lebanon and specially these two malls?
- Advantages :
a- Attraction of shoppers
b- Weather protection
c- Combine shopping with entertainment
d- Urban economy affection (Tourism)
- Disadvantages on the surrounding (streets, residences, shops, etc..)
a- Traffic, pollution, noises, etc..
b- Competition with small shops
c- Urban economy affection ( Land- Residences)
- Comparison between Dbaye, Achrafieh and the malls abroad.
a- Location: Urban-suburban
b- Time for arriving and shopping
c- Area occupied
Synthesis and suggestions for the new malls.
Nowadays, Lebanon is emerging day after day, regarding the urban planning and its components. Every planning has advantages and disadvantages. The city does not work alone, the more it is self-sufficient, the more crowded it would be and specially Beirut, a city filled with citizens, strangers and refugees. Beirut, a city that is growing chaotically sometimes, and demolishing the social or economical aspect of the city. One aim of the Lebanese urban planning is to create malls to help enhance the economical crises in Lebanon. A mall acts as an enclosed shopping area from which traffic is excluded. This mall is a large retail complex containing a variety of stores for shopping or restaurants for lunch or dining. So the shopping center will be a space that allows people to spend all their day at one place. One example of the Lebanese mall is the ABC achrafieh located in achrafieh and i am going to take another example which is ABC dbaye to have a good comparison between two different malls in two different locations. The main focus of this report will be discussing the impact of these malls on the surrounding.
To begin with, malls in general are spaces that serve the need of the society. Currently, an ideal and best mall is the mall that can have maximum interest in a minimum space. So the attraction of people should be based on their interest. For instance, people nowadays are affected by the social media which is source of advertising and marketing. Any brand evolving internationally, should be imported in the malls to make it a place of attraction. Other factor that is a source of attraction is that the place should be a rest place. For example, workers in general find the mall a place for resting during lunch break or after work. They can see people from different class which is an anti-stressor factor. Another example is that the malls are more or less safer than the exposed souks and especially in Lebanon. Usually parents prefer for their children to go to safe places. So the child can meet his/her friend, gather, watch movies or shop and go back home alone without the presence of an adult. A third example of the unemployed women, they can meet their friends, gather and shop which is a common interest for most of them. The last example is the family. Usually Sundays are the days that allow all the family to meet. They can choose the mall as a meeting place where they can spend all the day gathering, shopping and resting.
A second advantage of the malls is the weather protection. In general, Lebanon is a country having four seasons. In the rainy days, people prefer to go to the malls to be protected from the weather because the mall will be insuring a heated area which make the people more comfortable. In the sunny days and especially in summer, spending the time outdoor is beneficial but annoying on a long term. People will prefer to sit in a cooled area to feel relaxed.
A third factor is the combination of shopping with entertainment. According to" Holbrook, 1999 "," environments, organizing contests, providing lights, music, food court and enhancing the overall store" atmospherics makes shopping more entertaining and also add value to the Hedonic values (HV) based shoppers. The malls also can include sports activities. For example, some malls in the United Arab Emirates have an artificial ski area. Since some activities are seasonal, if we do that activity in Lebanon in any mall, people will come and benefit from that activity even if it is not its season. Other activities that can be made indoor are ice skating, climbing, cycling, swimming, etc.. This example will favor the attraction of people while simply entertaining a product or a hobby. A strong entertainment is the entertainment that invites the tourist from abroad to attend an activity in the mall. For instance, i will give an example that i experienced. I visited Dubai for the first time two years ago, where i visited the Dubai mall which is a mall right under the burj khalifa tower and where i felt relaxed specially when sitting on the dancing fountain outdoor, chilling with my friends. One year after, i revisited the same place and felt the same feeling.
Another advantage is the affection on the economy. It is not necessarily to spend money when going to the mall, according to " CHARNEDRA MCCOOK", "We do not always have to spend our money.Just because we go to the mall does not mean we have to buy something. We could just hang out with our friends or whomever we may be with. We could just check out the latest fashion and all the free benefits of shopping at malls." At the same time, while attracting tourist, the economy in Lebanon will be increasing which will satisfy the Lebanese society and help improving the city. Economy is not the only factor that will be affected, all the other will be too. Trading for example will be increased and the relations with other countries will be improved. In addition the mall is not the only area that is benefiting economically, the surrounded shops that forms a same line with abc dbaye on the highway are also profiting since the mall is giving them a flow of vehicles that would be attracted to these shops.
One of the disadvantages of the malls on its surrounding is the formation of traffic, especially in Lebanon, a small country with a huge number of citizens. The traffic of these malls plays a major role and affects the traffic on the highways. A peak period of traffic is during the vacations. Let's take the first example ABC dbaye. This mall has four entrances, two of which are looking the highway. These two entrances are the main entrances on the mind of the visitors. The comers from Jounieh and the northern area use the bridge to reach the mall. This bridge is helping to decrease the traffic but still the area is too crowded because of the huge number of visitors and the use of the bridge for some people to reach their work, home or for other purposes. In addition, for the visitors coming from Beirut, they also use the same bridge or pass under it to reach the mall which has less impact on the traffic since the highway from south to north has less traffic then the north-south. One of the reasons that increase the traffic is the low space of parking lot occupied. If we want to take into consideration the number of visitors, the parking area should be doubled to reduce the traffic on the entrances. Concerning the traffic of abc achrafieh, it is more or less normal. First the area of the parking occupied is acceptable comparing it with the number of visitors. Moreover, drop off areas help the decrease of the traffic, since abc achrafiye has a main entrance accessible by pedestrian. Another disadvantage is the pollution. We notice that there is no green spaces surrounding the two mall of ABC dbaye. We have a huge number of ACs and heating systems which works against the environment. The air of the area is becoming polluted day after day, yet there are no solutions provided. However, the impact on pollution for ABC achrafieh is lower since we have open air passages with few green spaces in between. However for Abc achrafieh, the mall is more integrated with its context than the abc dbaye and provide open spaces which make the space comfortable and vast. Concerning the noises, since ABC dbaye is a block building and is far from residences and almost a closed area, the noises won't affect the surrounding. However ABC achrafieh is surrounded by neighborhoods, so it's impact on the surrounding is annoying taking into consideration the high traffic that occur during its peak time and considering the acoustic matters , like the noises of events and the crowded times that take place in the mall.
In addition, the malls are having a bad effect of the surrounding shops. Many families and shops were closed because of the invention of malls. Urbanely speaking, malls area making some cities dead cities. For example, before the invention of malls, jounieh souks used to be an active area for shopping. Now, the shops are suffering and closed because of the malls. The same for ABC achrafieh, the surrounded area is almost dead. In order for the shops to succeed they are moving their store to the malls where they can gain more.
These malls are also affecting the urban economy. Where we have malls, we have more animation and more lively area which also affect the real estate. We will take Abc dbaye as an example, since Abc achrafieh is already an area animated by the surrounding and demanded by a huge number of people since it is located in the capital. We notice that the lands and residences in dbaye differ. The more we are close to the mall the higher the price of lands. And since Lebanon is almost a poor country, many people won't be able to afford in that area.
Concerning the location, ABC achrafieh is located in an urban city, already filled with people. The mall became part of the city and also became a public space. Pedestrians can access it easily without the use of the car or entering the parking area. So the location is flexible and well integrated with its surrounding. However for abc dabye, it is located in almost sub-urban area which is more or less private. The mall is visited for a purpose and the visitors are obliged to park in order to enter the mall. There is no main entrance that attracts the pedestrian. Usually it takes more time to attend a mall in a sub-urban area because of its distance from the capital. Now concerning the time of shopping, ABC achrafieh is an area that can be dedicated as a souk and at the same time a closed area due to its open ceiling and open entrances accessible by many areas. However, Abc dbaye mall is a closed area, the shoppers won't feel comfortable as in an open area. And the access is defined and on a same street which is totally different than the Achrafiyeh mall.
As a conclusion, we noticed that in general malls in urban areas are more efficient considering the usage and if it is well integrated. However, in my opinion i prefer that all the malls take place in sub-urban areas to decrease the load in the capital and to make other cities more active. The factors that should be taken into consideration to have an efficient mall are:
1- Climate, we should have open spaces and try providing eco-friendly systems and try to reduce the heating systems and ACs.
2- Circulation which should be easy and studied in a way to prevent traffic by making enough spaces for parking.
3- Accessibility, the mall should be accessible easily by pedestrians and by vehicles.
4- Attraction, the mall should attract tourist and citizens by creating in it spaces new to the city or spaces that satisfy the five senses of the human beings such as sport activities, cultural rooms, event courts etc...
5- Economy, the shops provided should not be categorized as one class shops. The stores should be different and classless to attract all kind of people such as poor, rich, kids, elder, etc...
6- Social aspect, the place should provide social space for gathering and to enjoy the ambiance of the mall.
-Mall Mania: A Study of Factors Influencing Consumers' Preference Towards Shopping Malls in Coimbatore City. Swamynathan, R.firstname.lastname@example.org Mansurali, A.email@example.com Chandrasekhar, Umesh3umesh@psgim.ac.in